Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Delta

I'm currently working on a little photo project, which involves getting some more photos of the Arkansas Delta. So a few weeks back, I headed out on a cool and rainy afternoon and drove around hoping to find something to take pictures of. I headed east out of Little Rock, driving first through the small town of Scott. There are many pecan trees around Scott, and just south of town is the Pecan Alley. This neat spot is where old and tall pecan trees line the road, stretching for a few miles. It had rained heavily earlier that day, so puddles of water had formed on the road. This is a view of the road, taken with the camera resting on the concrete (I looked both ways before walking onto the road).


Next I headed over to the small town of Keo, and got a few pictures of this abandoned building. The curtains in the window have faded and begun to disintegrate over time. I wonder what was in this building before?


From there I headed south, and drove through the small town of Tucker. There is a collection of old buildings in Tucker, including the shell of an old store. It was built in 1913, and also served as a plantation office, post office and a bank. All that remains of the building now are the walls.

Just down the road is a maximum security jail, so there are several signs around Tucker warning against picking up hitchhikers.

I headed further south and drove into the city of Pine Bluff. There is a lot of history in Pine Bluff, it was incorporated way back in 1839. But it has had some struggles in the past few decades. Many of the buildings downtown are empty and abandoned. I was there on a Wednesday afternoon and the streets were eerily quiet.



Train tracks run right through the heart of downtown Pine Bluff. The trains are both a blessing and a curse. Rail service helped to open up Pine Bluff's industry and also helped to make it one of the state's most prominent cities in the 1800s. But the constant vibrations and rumblings from the passing trains are now thought to be a major contributor to the collapse of several buildings in downtown Pine Bluff. Currently several blocks of Main Street are blocked off while debris from the collapsed buildings is cleaned up.

The old train station in Pine Bluff was constructed in 1906. The station was converted into a museum, but trains still storm by several times a day. This is a freight train moving past, taken from the station platform that still maintains the look of the olden days of rail travel.


From there I headed a bit further south, to the small town of Mitchelville. Only around 360 people live in the small town, which is dominated by a large elevator for Riceland Foods, which judging by the company name I can safely assume holds rice. The elevator is several stories tall, and it towers over the flat landscape.


A storm was approaching, and I decided to do something that in hindsight seems a little foolish. I set up the camera by the elevator in Mitchelville, wanting to get a picture of it as it got dark. Since it was about to storm, I secretly hoped that I could capture some lightning in the sky above the elevator. Which yes, it was not the wisest place to be in a storm (tall buildings and lightning aren't a good combination, and it probably isn't a good idea to be standing next to one during a storm with a metal tripod). I did try to take a few pictures, until it started to pour down rain. I hurried back to the car after getting drenched, and then attempted to dry off the poor camera. It had gotten wet, and wasn't working quite right. So when I got home I stuck the camera in a bag of rice (which is kinda funny considering I was standing next to a rice elevator when it got soaked). It worked fine the next day, although it did have a lingering smell of jasmine rice after that.

So this is one of the shots I took before the storm got bad and started pouring down rain. I was glad that I got a decent shot since I risked the camera to be there!


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